The Surplus Food Network facilitates restaurants in marketing imperfect produce that is local, seasonal, organic/eco-friendly. These restaurants present imperfect produce in an appealing manner, showing consumers that imperfect produce is just as delicious and healthy as its aesthetically-appealing counterpart. Hence, public awareness for preventing food waste, cherishing eco resources, and environmental protection is elevated.
Off-grade fruits and vegetables refer to produce that is eliminated for failing to meet market standards regarding specifications or appearance. Up to 40% of produce is eliminated, presenting the greatest challenge in tackling food waste. Similar to socializing, when selecting food, people tend to judge based on appearance. Fruits and vegetables that are blemish-free always sell out first. A portion of imperfect produce is left to rot in fields because farmers are aware that ugly produce does not sell well. Harvesting, picking, and storage all cost; therefore, farmers would rather give up on ugly produce. Imperfect produce is lucky enough to make it to the shelves is generally returned by the supermarkets in batches for imperfections. Imperfect produce that has managed to stay on the shelves does not sell and is ultimately disposed of by supermarkets. However, the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables does not change with appearance or size. Imperfect produce is just as capable of satisfying hunger as perfect produce.
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